Rodney Square

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Rodney Square Historic District
Rodney Square NW view.jpg
The northwest corner of Rodney Square
LocationBuildings fronting Rodney Square at 10th, 11th, Market & King Sts., Wilmington, Delaware
Coordinates39°44′45″N 75°32′49″W / 39.74583°N 75.54694°W / 39.74583; -75.54694Coordinates: 39°44′45″N 75°32′49″W / 39.74583°N 75.54694°W / 39.74583; -75.54694
Architectural styleBeaux-Art, Moderne
NRHP reference No.11000522[1]
Designated HDAugust 10, 2011

Rodney Square is the public square and historic district in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, United States, named after American Revolutionary leader Caesar Rodney. A large equestrian statue of Rodney by James E. Kelly formerly stood in the front of the square until it was removed in 2020. The square was created in the early 20th century by John Jacob Raskob, who worked for Pierre S. du Pont.[2] The City Beautiful movement served as the inspiration for the effort.[3]

In 1917, to make room for the Wilmington Public Library in the square, the 18th-century First Presbyterian Church was moved to Park Drive and the remains in the cemetery were reinterred in Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery.[4]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, as the Rodney Square Historic District.[1]


Surrounding architecture[edit]

Wilmington Public Library on Rodney Square

The eight blocks surrounding the square contain a number of downtown buildings:

Name Built Architect Style Current Use
I. M. Pei Building 1971 I.M. Pei Brutalist Multi-tenant office
MBNA Bracebridge I 1995 BofA credit card headquarters
Delaware Trust Building 1930 Dennison & Hirons Classical Revival Condos and restaurants, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[5]
DuPont Building 1908 DuPont headquarters
First & Central Church Presbyterian Church USA
Public Building 1916 Henry Hornbostel Classical Revival Law firm
Wilmington Mansion 1860s Wilmington Club, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.[5]
Wilmington Post Office 1937 Associated Federal Architects Classical Revival Wilmington Trust headquarters, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[5]
Wilmington Public Library 1922 Edward Lippincott Tilton Beaux-Arts Library

Corporate headquarters[edit]

Wilmington Trust headquarters with the I. M. Pei Building to the left




DART hybrid bus in Rodney Square

Rodney Square serves as a bus stop for several DART First State bus routes including 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 25, and 301.[6] From 1992 to December 2017, Rodney Square served as the main hub for DART First State buses in Wilmington. In December 2017, the state of Delaware under the direction of Governor John Carney eliminated the bus hub at Rodney Square by scattering stops throughout downtown Wilmington, removing 13 routes from stopping at the square. The decision to eliminate the hub was made in order to reduce congestion and overcrowding at Rodney Square. This action resulted in many riders having to walk multiple blocks to make transfers, and many of the new bus stops do not have shelters or benches. The Wilmington Transit Center was built as a new hub for DART First State buses adjacent to the Wilmington Train Station, opening in May 2020.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/09/11 through 8/12/11. National Park Service. 2011-08-19.
  2. ^ Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Rodney Square, DE
  3. ^ Milford, Maureen (2003-10-19). "MBNA's homage to the past". The News Journal. Archived from the original on November 2003. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
    Abstract free; full text requires payment.
  4. ^ Milford, Maureen. "Cemetery offers a lasting history". Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  7. ^ Jedra, Christina (January 30, 2018). "Wilmington bus riders clash with DART over elimination of Rodney Square stops". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Jedra, Christina (November 19, 2018). "New Wilmington transit center coming December 2019, officials say". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Join DART for a Community Conversation". DART First State. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

External links[edit]